Campbell Soup “no longer just a canned soup company,” says CEO Denise Morrison

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Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), which recently completed the purchase of organic soup maker Pacific Foods, is accelerating its acquisition strategy to meet increased consumer demand for healthy snacks, especially from younger adults. “The millennials have not just arrived, but they are now taking over," said CEO Denise Morrison. "If we don't work with them, we will soon be working for them,” she said at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference on Feb. 21.

“We have been taking steps to transform our portfolio in response to the seismic shifts that are driving monumental change across the food industry,” Morrison said. “The pace of change will continue to increase. We're no longer just a canned soup company.“

At the end of 2017, Campbell completed the $700 million purchase of organic soup maker Pacific Foods of Oregon. Pacific, located in Tualatin, Oregon, makes vegetable broths along with soy and almond beverages under its own brand. "The addition of Pacific Foods advances our real-food capabilities," Morrision says. Also, in 2017, Campebll agreed to acquire Snyder's-Lance for about $4.8 billion, which after completion, will be the largest deal in Campbell's history. Snyder's is known for making pretzels under the Snyder's of Hanover brand. Campbell vice president of corporate strategy, Emily Waldorf, is one of Mergers & Acquisitions' Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A.

"Campbell has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from a company that had been largely reliant on soup to a more diversified and dynamic company that anticipates changing consumer behaviors and adapts to the new consumer marketplace," Morrison adds.

Other mid-market snack deals include: Kellogg Co.'s (NYSE: K) agreement to acquire protein bar maker RXbar for about $600 million. Chicago-based Rxbar makes nutrition bars mostly with egg whites and nuts. In 2017, Conagra Brands Inc. (NYSE: CAG) bought Angie's Artisan Treats from TPG Growth. Angie's is known for making more than a dozen flavors of ready-to-eat popcorn under the Boomchickapop brand.

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